An individual may contact the Sheriff’s Department or San Francisco Police Department to accuse you. The accuser is often an authority figure in the child’s life such as a relative, parent, or mandated child abuse reporter like a teacher. In some cases a child contacts the police directly, or sometimes a teenager or adult contacts the police after many years have passed since the alleged molestation, stating that he or she didn’t understand the nature of the contact at the time.
The police (and sometimes specially-trained child psychologists or detectives) conduct an interview with the child to determine what the facts are. The interview may be recorded by audio or video, and leading questions may be asked that suggest a false recounting of events to the child.
If the abuse is alleged to be recent, the police or Sheriff’s Department may order a medical and/or forensic examination of the child, his or her clothes, and the location of the alleged molestation. These examinations are designed to find evidence for trial purposes, such as microscopic tearing where the abuse was alleged to have occurred. The police may also ask the person who is doing the accusing to make a “pretext call” to you. This means they will guide the alleged victim to say things that may prompt you to confess or make an admission that can later be used against you. Other possible victims will likely be searched out as well.
You may be brought in for questioning at this point. If you are not arrested, Miranda rights need not be read to you. However, it is much better to contact an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law to be present during such an interview than to talk to the police without one in order to get the interrogation over with, or to convince authorities that the child’s accusations are false and that you are innocent. Relatedly, you should not submit to a polygraph test without consulting an attorney, as the results can be used to develop a case against you.
The San Francisco child molestation defense lawyers at Dudek & Cintean, LLP can defend you and work to restore your standing in the community. Whether the case involves a lack of intention, accidental conduct, or coaching by a third party, many child molestation charges are dismissed. We want to understand your side of the story and help you get on with your life. For a confidential consultation, call our San Francisco office at (415) 946-4020.
Call us at (415) 946-4020 for a consultation.
Alin Cintean, Attorney at Law and Richard Dudek, Attorney at Law
201 Spear St #1100
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 946-4020
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